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Restructuring the Russian nuclear industry : the impact on nuclear safety and security culture Topalova, Viktoriya Mykolayvna 2002

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RESTRUCTURING THE RUSSIAN N U C L E A R INDUSTRY: THE IMPACT O N N U C L E A R SAFETY A N D SECURITY C U L T U R E by VTKTORIYA M Y K O L A Y V N A TOPALO V A Specialist Diploma, Odessa State University, 1990 Candidate of Pedagogical Science, Kyiv State Linguistic University, 1998 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Institute for European Studies) We accept this thesis as CQnforming to the required standard Dr.^Michael Wallace, Chair of the Committee Dr. Lisa Sundstrom, Committee Member Dr. Merje Kuus, Committee Member University of British Columbia April 2002 © Viktoriya Mykolayivna Topalova, 2003 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Institute for European Studies The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 23 April 2003 11 ABSTRACT The thesis will challenge the assertion that the Ministry of the Russian Federation on Atomic Energy (Minatom) is the only reliable partner to deal with in the field of nuclear cooperation in Russia. The thesis argues that a post-Soviet period in the development of the nuclear industry of the Russian Federation saw the radical restructuring of the whole nuclear complex under the aegis of Minatom that changed fundamentally the basis upon which Russian nuclear industry rests. The thesis examines the approaches the Ministry has developed towards the problems of maintaining and implementing nuclear safety and security at its enterprises and facilities. A major difficulty with the nuclear safety and security debates in Russia, however, is the lack of publicly accessible statistical data on severe radiological problems in Russia and of operational analytical databases on the wide range of problems besieging the Russian nuclear industry. The thesis devises and employs institutional and cultural approaches to account for the structural and qualitative changes in Minatom's practices and behavior. Focusing on the role of its top management in the creation of a new self-image of the Ministry, the thesis examines the implications of the latter for the future of US-Russia nuclear cooperation. It will demonstrate that structural changes have had a negative effect on nuclear and radioactive safety in Russia. In terms of security culture, the thesis will show that little has been done and could be done so far in order to implement this critical parameter in the Ministry's functioning. The principal finding of this thesis is that structural changes in Minatom and the nuclear industry have been superficial, following the well-known pattern of changes of the late 1980s, which has not changed the Ministry's core structure and the way of thinking of the Russian top nuclear management. T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Abbreviations and Acronyms iv Chapter I. Introduction and Research Agenda 1 Chapter EL Minatom as a Cornerstone of the Russian Nuclear Complex 3 II. 1 Restructurings of the Industry in the 1990s 8 n.2 Minatom's Approach to Problems of Maintaining Nuclear Safety: Why Worry? 19 Chapter in. Nuclear Management and Security Culture in Russia 31 m. 1 Repairing Minatom's Image 33 DI.2 Developing a New Security Culture? 47 Chapter IV. Conclusion 56 Bibliography 61 Appendix I Structure of the Ministry for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation 69 THE LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS A N D A C R O N Y M S G A N Gosatomnadzor (Russian Federal Inspectorate for Nuclear and Radiation Safety) Minatom Ministry of the Russian Federation on Atomic Energy Minsredmash Ministry of Medium Machine-Building of the USSR M P C & A Material protection, control and accounting assistance (the US-Russia collaborative program) NGO Non-Governmental Organization N W Nuclear Weapons NWS Nuclear Weapons States RF The Russian Federation SNF Spent Nuclear Fuel U.S. United States USSR The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1 C H A P T E R I I N T R O D U C T I O N A N D R E S E A R C H A G E N D A There exist conflicting views on the future of nuclear weapons among the scholars of different schools of thought. From a realist stance, a central assumption of international relations is that states will continue to acquire nuclear weapons and further develop their more sophisticated versions, whereas adepts of a liberal approach contend that a danger of nuclear proliferation will be eliminated as soon as there is a political will of states possessing nuclear weapons. However, even with the ardent support of the international community, these efforts can rarely be crowned with a conclusion of agreements stipulating a breakthrough in nuclear disarmament and arms control. The most recent example of such an agreement is the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, signed in Moscow on 24 May 2002. Most importantly, the Treaty requires the United States and Russia to substantially reduce their deployed strategic nuclear arsenals to less than 2,200 warheads each by 31 December 2012. Although, both sides have recognized that their strategic arsenals are a legacy of the Cold War, remaining far larger than needed, they have also maintained that there has been no visible breakthrough in further nuclear weapons reductions. However, the issue today is how safe such reductions are, i.e. how a state possessing abundant nuclear weaponry wil l safeguard and secure its nuclear stockpiles, dismantled arsenal, and fissile materials in compliance with the international agreements. The thesis thus wil l examine the practices of dealing with the problems of safety and security in the Russian nuclear industry adopted by the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation (Minatom). It employs cultural and institutional analytical frameworks to account for benefits and risks of the utilization of nuclear weapons and 2 storage of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) imported to Russia from abroad as well as to explore Minatom's cooperation with its U.S. counterparts in their joint attempt to cultivate a new security culture in Russian nuclear industry. Chapter One of the thesis provides an introductory note and the detailed outline of the research. To fully understand the changing nature of approaches to the issues of maintaining nuclear and radioactive safety and implementing security culture in Russia today, one must first step back and look at the Soviet legacy of Minatom, which is briefly reviewed in the first part of Chapter Two. It will further discuss the major periods in restructuring the Russian nuclear complex that took place during the 1990s, and the economic obstacles facing Minatom at present. The emphasis will be on the Ministry's approach to the issues of nuclear and radioactive safety, and the possible structural problems, which can arise out of the current situation in the Russian nuclear complex. The second part of Chapter Two addresses the outcomes of the Ministry's restructuring that have had adverse effects on the safety and security in the nuclear industry, echoing with its old approaches, and the new, troubling tendencies in Minatom's behavior will be traced. Chapter Three of the thesis will examine the role of Minatom's top management in implementing the existing nuclear security culture in Russia. A new Minatom's strategy aimed at creating its new collective self-image is explored in the first part of Chapter Three. This part of the Chapter will also discuss the ways Minatom uses to make its image operational. The second part of Chapter Three will analyze the implications of a new Ministry's self-image for the future of the US-Russian cooperation on developing a new security culture in Russian nuclear industry. It will demonstrate the interaction of the cultural and institutional factors that may or may not lead to the better understanding between the Russian and American sides on how to reach a positive result in the bilateral relationships in the nuclear field. A closer look at the Russian security discourse used by Minatom is helpful in the analysis of the relatively unsuccessful attempts of the American side to foster deeper cooperation and to nurture a new security culture in the Russian industry appropriate to the level of the modern threats. The study will conclude by putting the conclusions drawn in Chapters Two and Three of the thesis into a new perspective. CHAPTER H MINATOM AS A CORNERSTONE OF THE RUSSIAN NUCLEAR COMPLEX In this chapter, I will analyze the reorganization of the Soviet nuclear industry by the government of the Russian Federation during the first post-Soviet decade in Russia's history. I will focus here on an institutional approach, which has been recognized by international scholars as an analytical framework to explain states' nuclear policies in a post-Cold War world (Cimbala 2000,2001; Goldstein and Keohane 1993; Ruggie 1993; Krasner 1983; Rittberger 1993). I suggest applying an institutional approach at the level of state in order to explain structural changes in Russia's nuclear industry and to better understand the dynamics of change within the Minatom's structure as well. The institutional analysis wil l hopefully cast light upon the new plans of the Ministry and their subtle implications for the problem of maintaining safety and security in Russia's nuclear industry. The Soviet Heritage of Minatom Since 1991, the Russian leadership has been undertaking significant efforts to reform the nuclear complex of the Russian Federation, in particular, its industrial component, which provides development, production, and maintenance of nuclear weapons. There were at least two principle forces behind an absolute necessity for the reorganization of the Russian nuclear industry. First, according to Pavel Podvig, "cuts in defense orders have forced the complex to scale down its weapons work and to start looking for defense conversion opportunity" (Podvig et al. 2001: 77). The situation in the defense industry in early 1990s, including a nuclear complex, stemmed from the decision of the Russian government of 1994 to stop the production of plutonium for weapons. In fact, that decision was grounded into the Soviet approach towards the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, which ceased in 1989 in the USSR and in 1994 in Russia accordingly (Podvig et al. 2001:77-78). Obviously, radical changes in the Soviet/Russian defense policy triggered a chain reaction of decisions in a nuclear policy, which has had a profound impact on the future of the nuclear complex of the Russian Federation (RF). Following that line, Russian nuclear industry was confronted with the problem of downsizing its nuclear complex and reducing a significant number of its personnel, which required new approaches and strategies of the industry development. Moreover, the removal of the Soviet nuclear weapons had been completed by 1996, and Minatom was assigned a new Herculean task of dismantling it. Nonetheless, only minor implementation measures were taken to overcome the existing difficulties in the industry and for mainly two reasons: the top management was reluctant towards the idea of 5 innovations and changing its policies; and the industry major schools of thought did not get sufficient financial support to elaborate new approaches. Managed by the Ministry of Medium Machine-Building (Minsredmash) in the Soviet period, the industry was responsible for the whole cycle of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons production. In fact, Minsredmash, incorporated into the system of the Soviet defense industry, integrated everything that was necessary for the industry's functioning. The Soviet nuclear complex included two major lines responsible for production of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, accordingly. However, the production and reprocessing cycles for defense and civil purposes were conducted on common industrial sites, but in different process facilities. That noteworthy feature of the Soviet nuclear complex has been fully inherited by Russia, and today, according to the experts of the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow," the enterprises have the complete technological cycle and include production nuclear reactors, the reactors spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, facilities for manufacturing of necessary articles from weapon grade uranium and plutonium, facilities for processing of all types of radioactive wastes, and the auxiliary production complexes" (Project # 245 "Radleg" 1996). Obviously, the reasons for such "fusion of purposes" were both strategic and economic, and primary consideration was given to geographical location of the production sites as well as to availability of material recourses and labor force in a region. So, the Urals and Southern Siberia of Russia with their abundant natural resources and production facilities became the locus of the Russian nuclear industry. The leading enterprises of Minsredmash were organized at the initial stage of the creation of a Soviet nuclear cycle: the Mining & Chemical Combine Industrial Association "Mayak" in the Chelyabinsk 6 Region for storage and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel of civilian nuclear power plants, as well as the Siberian Chemical Combine in the Tomsk Region and the Mining & Chemical Combine in Krasnoyarsk Land for production of radioactive isotopes and ionizing radiation sources to be used in the national economy. Although enterprises and organizations belonging to Minsredmash were territorially distributed in different republics of the USSR, cooperating with various branches of other ministries, the whole complex was coordinated by the Military-Industrial Commission/ Voyenno-Promyshlennaya Komissiya.1 As a state agency, the Military-Industrial Commission not only supervised the activities of Minsredmash and other ministries in fulfilling defense orders. But, crucial to understanding its role, it was also directly involved in a process of policy-making in terms of formulating a common policy on weapons production. With the collapse of the Soviet defense industry after 1991, the Military-Industrial Commission ceased to exist, and its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. According to the experts, " projects for the creation of the new strategic weapons systems in Russia are the continuation of development projects that began before 1991" (Podvig et al.2001:49). Turmoil in the Russian nuclear industry, which has been a part of the complete cycle of work involved in the creation of Soviet strategic systems, can be explained by a rapid curtailing of the Soviet defense industry during the late 1980s - early 1990s. The latter process, I argue, broke well-established procedures in the field of military and nuclear 1 Although commonly referred to as the "Military-Industrial Commission," its official name was the Commission on Military-Industrial Affairs of the Presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers (Podvig et al. 2001:40) 7 production into a fragmented pattern with links disappeared or lost in the background of extremely complicated political processes of the early 1990s. Interestingly enough, Minsredmash was reorganized as USSR Ministry for Atomic Energy and Nuclear Power Engineering as far back as 1989. At the same time, first steps towards the establishment of independent public organizations were made, and the USSR Nuclear Society was created (Russian Federation 2002). The main objective of the Nuclear Society was the promotion of peaceful and safe atomic energy; and it can be argued here that it was for the first time in the history of the Soviet nuclear industry, that the issues of nuclear safety were discussed openly at the professional level. There is a tragic irony in the fact that one of the most powerful production complexes was ill-known for its weak regulatory oversight, which caused complicated environmental problems in the Chelyabinsk region of the Russian Federation (RF) as early as 1946, followed by the contamination catastrophes of 1957 and 1967, when the reprocessing Mayak plant dumped nuclear waste in an nearby open lake. Until today, the scope of the disaster and its long-term effects have not been fully examined, but in scholars' opinion, the magnitude of those grave accidents that took place at the heart of the Soviet nuclear weapons production system can be compared to the impact of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe of 1986 in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine (Sakwa 2002:327). Unable to avoid heated public debates over the Chernobyl accident during the late 1980s, the last years of Gorbachev's era of "Perestroika and Glasnost'" in the USSR, the Soviet officials had to release a very limited amount of information pertaining to radioactive contamination of the Soviet nuclear production sites. The focus was more on large-scale radiation accidents, which caused primarily an international concern, e.g., the Chernobyl 8 (1986) and, in retrospect, Kyshtym (1957) disasters. At the same time, both the Ministry officials and the Soviet communist party leaders were even more reluctant to go beyond the discussion of the accidents mentioned above, and to recognize numerous cases of radioactive contamination, such as dumping of liquid radioactive wastes and disposal of solid radioactive wastes into seas that resulted from not nuclear accidents, but from the practices rooted in the production cycle. Today, it is no secret that the Soviet government suppressed information about the common practice and routine functioning of nuclear power plants, when significant amounts of radioactive substances entered the environment. So, I maintain, the environmental aspect of nuclear safety was seriously downplayed even under the Gorbachev administration during the late 1980s, by ignoring the fact of having vast areas of the USSR territory heavily contaminated by radio nuclides beyond any permissible standards, which required immediate remediation. The case of Chernobyl may well be considered an exception that has proved the rule: the Soviet authorities were not ready to deal with large-scale nuclear accidents, neither were they able to protect civilians and the environment once such an accident had happened. II.l Restructurings of the 1990s On 29 January 1992 the Ministry of the Russian Federation on Atomic Energy (Minatom) was established to replace the USSR Ministry for Atomic Energy and Nuclear Power Engineering by a decree by the President of the Russian Federation No 61 (Russian Federation. Ministry for Atomic Energy 2002), and a new minister V.N. Mikhailov was appointed. Here, I argue that a new stage in the history of the Soviet/Russian nuclear industry can be divided into the two periods: from 1992 to 1998 and from 1998 until the present. Further, I will briefly characterize these two periods in the Ministry's development, focusing on the problematic areas of a restructuring process pertaining to the issues of nuclear safety. I argue that Minatom's approach to resolving these issues is crucial to understanding the current problems besieging the Russian nuclear industry as well as the Ministry's strategy of development of new projects and activities. Inertia of1992 -1998 As a new federal body with an executive authority status, Minatom inherited the Soviet legacy of the former USSR Ministry for Atomic Energy and Nuclear Power Engineering in terms of its structure and the four following core functions: 1) complete support of nuclear and radiation safety of the RF nuclear complex; 2) organization and regulation of business activities in the nuclear sector of the Russian economy at the federal level; 3) carrying out state technological, investment and structural policy in the field of nuclear energy and engineering; and 4) creation and implementation of modernization programs, production and utilization of nuclear weapons, systemic realization of defense conversion of the nuclear complex, and radioactive waste management. In addition, Minatom was privileged to introduce any type of activity, including legislative, in its sphere of competence of other federal executive bodies in the instances of dealing with the RF federal laws or presidential decrees. The latter fact, I believe, indicates the unique position of Minatom in the system of the federal government. On top of this, the Ministry was also empowered to function as a federal regulatory agency for control of the usage of nuclear energy by the federal law" On the usage of nuclear energy N170" of 21 November, 1995 (Russian Federation. Ministry for Atomic Energy 2002.) So, Minatom has exceeded the influence of the Soviet Ministry for Atomic Energy and Nuclear Power Engineering with the elimination of the Military-10 Industrial Commission in 1991. It can be argued that the consolidation of exclusive legislative and executive powers has taken place here. Indeed, as we will see further in this thesis, the Ministry's officials have no legal restrictions on exercising initiatives in terms of restructuring the industry and the approaches applied to this process. The elimination of external control over Minatom's activities and the economic and political crises of the early 1990s in the Russian Federation facilitated the process of the consolidation of power and strengthened the beliefs of the Russian top nuclear management in both their omnipotence and impunity. Turning to the question of nuclear and radioactive safety, I would argue that in the period of 1992 - 1998 the Ministry aggravated significantly its practices in dealing with problems of nuclear safety in spite of the federal Law on Protecting the Environment, adopted on 19 December 1991, followed by the Law on Specially Protected Natural Areas, signed by President Boris Yeltsin on 14 March 1995 (Sakwa 2002:329). Although the problem of radioactive contamination of the territories adjacent to Minatom's industrial sites persisted, the RF government did not have enough resources to resolve the existing environmental crisis. At the same time, the growing awareness of the public about the scale of ecological problems could not be ignored any more. The activities of the few environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia could not be avoided by Minatom either. In particular, the Kola Peninsula, the Urals, and Southern Siberia became the objects of close attention of the first Russian environmental NGOs who are members of the Social Ecological Union that is an umbrella organization for 11 hundreds of environmental NGOs in the ex-USSR republic.2 When speaking about environmental NGOs in Russia, we are talking about enormous support of the international community to Russian society in terms of establishing and developing civil participation in ecological monitoring. In the next chapter of the thesis, I will turn to the role of these NGOs in their struggle with Minatom for the citizens' right for information and a healthy environment. Although some scholars and experts argue that the Russian government made possible analysis of the environmental crisis of the 1990s, I cannot fully agree with their point of view, particularly with regard to the issues of nuclear safety and monitoring the current environmental situation in the nuclear industry itself (Project # 245 "Radleg" 1996; Sakwa 2002:329). There is little doubt that during the first half of the 1990s, the first steps towards freedom of speech and information were made in Russian society, and it became possible to lift slightly, but not to remove the secrecy curtain that covered nuclear industry from the public. However, I do not think that Minatom's role was prominent in the first attempts to a systematic study of the Soviet nuclear inheritance. If we look at the Ministry's activities in the 1992 - 1998 period, we can hardly notice the difference between its approaches and policies compared to the Soviet period at the background of systematic and comprehensive international effort to facilitate new approaches to management in the nuclear field. Indeed, Minatom kept a low profile in open discussion of its activities or decision-making in order to achieve technically sound and publicly acceptable policy, oriented to effective remediation of the burden put by the 2 Here, I imply such NGOs as "ECODEFENCE!" founded in 1990 in Kaliningrad (former Koenigsberg), Russia <>; Center for Russian Environmental Policy founded in 1993 in Moscow <>; "Wild Field" < >, and some others. 12 Soviet nuclear inheritance. One of the concrete examples of Minatom's joint effort with the Russian Academy of Sciences is the project on Radiation Safety of Biosphere (RAD project) launched in the mid-1990s and aimed at collecting and verifying data on severe radiological problems in the former Soviet Union. Interestingly enough, the advisory committee of the RAD project in 1996 recognized the fact that collecting data on the nuclear inheritance of the ex-USSR is too enormous a task to be fulfilled by any particular institution or organization and, therefore, it could not be completed without publicly accessible statistical data, either stored in archives or being classified, as well as without a professional network of scholars of the former USSR (Project # 245 "Radleg" 1996). The misfit between the scope of the task and the overall framework applied to its solution by 20 organizations of Minatom and Academy of Science in the early 1990s was too plain to escape public notice. It is important to notice that the RAD project on creation of both an operational database and publicly accessible prototype data has not been finished yet; though Minatom used the collected analytical data for the creation of the Russian Federal Program "Radioactive wastes and Spent Nuclear Materials Management, Utilization and Disposal for 1996-2005." The first half of the 1990s was marked by a significant openness of data casting light on the state of radioactive problems and by the broadening of international cooperation that has allowed progress with the research on radioactive safety and contamination following a standstill. But, I also argue that the top Russian officials in Minatom as well as in the Russian Academy of Science were well aware of the growing anxiety of public opinion in Russia and other states about the present state of nuclear safety in the industry and, more importantly, the lack of reliable information in this 13 regard. Instead of providing the required information to public, Minatom has taken an untenable position that grave public anxiety for the issues of radioactive and nuclear safety should be called a "Chernobyl Syndrome." Thus, they not only downplay and narrow the meaning of the latter, but also substitute one problem for another. Indeed, the Ministry has ideologically labeled the problem of nuclear safety, assuming that such a Soviet-type PR strategy would not only confuse the public and distract the public opinion from the crux of the problem, but would also stop endless demands of the activists to get more information on the environmental situation in the regions. Another proof of the inherited Soviet attitude towards the problems of nuclear safety is a continued nuclear irresponsibility of Minatom and the RF government that explains a delay in Russia's ratification of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Responsibility for Nuclear Damage by Russia. Russia joined the Convention and signed it on 8 May 1996, but the hearing in the State Duma of the Russian Federation has not yet finished ("K 25-letiyu vstupleniya v silu venskoy konventsii o grazhdanskoy otvetstvennosti za yadernyi uscherb" 2002). There is no updated information available on this matter, which is not surprising, I suppose, considering the consequences for an assignee in case of a nuclear accident on its territory. First of all, the Convention deals exclusively with cases of peaceful use of nuclear energy and defines basic legal terms such as "nuclear materials," "nuclear fuel," "nuclear accident," "nuclear operator," etc. According to the Vienna Convention, every nuclear object on the territory of a state ratified the Convention must be insured by both a state and a nuclear operator that share common financial responsibility in case of a nuclear accident. In September 1997, at the Vienna diplomatic conference, the sums of compensation for material damage caused by 14 a nuclear accident increased seven times, and the legal responsibility for the accident itself was reconsidered. Since then, a full responsibility for a possible nuclear accident is borne by a "nuclear operator," and in Russia this is clearly the case of Minatom. So, it can be inferred here that it is not in Minatom's interests to lobby for the ratification of the Vienna Convention in the RF State Duma considering an aggravating situation in terms of nuclear and radioactive safety in the Russian nuclear industry. It is not difficult to imagine that the Russian public would certainly approve the ratification of the Vienna Convention, and would hardly oppose Minatom's agency in that process. However, the Convention is not on the list of Minatom's priorities, though the Ministry is constantly exercising its influence on many other occasions and lobbying some controversial projects it needs, rejecting vigorous protests of the public and easily neutralizing weak political opposition in the Russian State Duma. And yet, in the period of 1992 - 1998 there was a clear sense that restructuring of the nuclear industry was in a state of flux in the background of an aggravated Russian economy, the ailing strategic forces, and the process of the demoralization of the Russian military. None of the tasks, which Minatom had faced at an early stage of its existence, was completed. In regard to nuclear and radioactive safety in the nuclear industry, there was no system of collecting and processing data on presence, origin, and characteristics of radioactive wastes and fissile materials created. Consequently, Minatom provided no new recommendations on radiological safety and protection of its personnel and population to the local branches of the Ministry and the local authorities. Neither were preventive safety measures taken to decontaminate the nuclear "dirty" areas with their further environmental restoration; no additional financial help or social protection was 15 offered to the citizens residing in those areas. A lack of trustworthy knowledge of the Minatom's plans became more than obvious by the end of the 1990s. Revival or Reanimation? In June 1998 the Russian government adopted the program "On Restructuring and Conversion of the Nuclear Weapons Complex in 1998 - 2000" as a part of a restructuring plan for the defense industry. The same year, Yevgeniy Adamov was appointed a new minister, and this figure became a clear indication of changes to come. In compliance with the government regulations, Minatom has significantly reduced the production of warheads by closing production lines in Arzamas-16 and Penza-19. The Ministry has also scheduled to stop warhead disassembly work at those two facilities by 2003 and to remove these operations to the remaining two facilities in Sverdlovsk-45 and Zlatoust-36, to consolidate all fissile material processing at one facility in Chelyabinsk-65 by 2003, and to reduce its personnel working for defense programs from 75,000 to 40,000 by 2005 (Podvig 2001: 77,578). Moreover, in 1999, Minatom had to accelerate utilization of nuclear-powered submarines and to elaborate the wide-scale measures on ecological recovery of the sites, previously belonging to the Ministry of Defense and handed over to Minatom in compliance with the decision of the Russian government (Russian Federation. Ministry for Atomic Energy. Milestones in Creation and Development of the Industry 2002). It should be noted here that the program of a large-scale commissioning of nuclear-powered submarines is a relatively new burden for Minatom, and commissioning of the Kursk nuclear power plant in 1999 was, in fact, carried out in the industry for the first time. 16 Another driving force behind the restructuring of Minatom after 1998 was certainly of an economic nature, i.e., the Ministry's economic competitiveness on the energy market with the Russian Joint-Stock Company "Edinaya Energeticheskaya Sistema'V'The United Energy System of Russia" headed by Anatoliy Chubais. Chubais, one of the most prominent economists and politicians of the Yeltsin era, has managed to successfully influence the Russian energy policy and to build the biggest company in the market after the collapse of the fuel and energy complex of the ex-USSR in the early 1990s. During that period, the Russian energy sector was impacted by both the investment and structural crises. From the point of view of Minatom's energy enterprises, a number of problems needed to be solved promptly with the main emphasis on nuclear power development. Also, in 1998 a special program on developing nuclear power engineering of the Russian Federation from 1998 to 2005 and to 2010 was approved by the RF government, and two years later the program was incorporated into a new strategy of nuclear power development (Russian Federation Government 1998). The 2000 document has defined the key principles of Russian energy policy and energy supply security, which are critical to understanding Minatom's approach to the problems of nuclear safety and security today. In particular, I would underline the following five principles that are relevant to the issues discussed in this thesis: 1) the principle of progressive increase in the contribution of renewable energy sources to the country's fuel and energy balance that suggests replacing fossil fuel "as much as practicable with inexhaustible energy sources and primarily with such an anthropogenically renewable source as nuclear fuel of fast reactors"; 2) the principle of environmental acceptability implying that "growth of generating capacities should be provided mainly by nuclear and renewable energy sources" and not add to environmental impacts; 3) the principle of 17 systematically cutting the share of raw materials in the fuel export, i.e., the proportion of high-tech products such as nuclear fuel should be constantly growing; 4) the principle of self-financed simple reproduction suggesting that energy facilities should be upgraded and replaced at the expense of the industry itself, and 5) the principle of state-regulated market reforms in the energy sector requiring state regulation of market relations "to expedite establishment of an efficient energy market." The latter principle is coupled with the principle of legislation conformity to the national strategic interests, which implies that federal laws "should not bar the national enterprises from entering the world markets of high-tech and knowledge-intensive products and services." Thus, the principle of legislative conformity emphasizes the idea of lifting "legislative restrictions on the highly profitable export services for reprocessing and storage of irradiated nuclear fuel" (Russian Federation. Ministry for Atomic Energy. Strategy of Nuclear Power Development in Russia in the First Half of the 21st Century 2000). At the heart of the national strategy of nuclear power development, I maintain, lies the idea of the deregulation of prices on the domestic Russian energy market that is scheduled for 2004. However, Minatom is slowly getting ready for the coming battle for the national energy market by restructuring its Nuclear Energy Department. The focus is on the creation of units of a "new generation" such as Foreign Trade Company "Zarubezhatmenergost," or State Enterprise "Concern Rosenergoatom" (see Appendix 1 "Structure of the Ministry"). In fact, with the creation of the "Concern Rosenergoatom" in 2002, according to its CEO, Sergei Ivanov, the restructuring of Minatom's Nuclear Energy Department was practically completed by concentration of all the resources of the industry in the framework of the Minatom's branch establishment - the United 18 Generating Company "Concern Rosenergoatom" (see Kravchenko 2002). So, the two emerging giants on the Russian energy market - the Russian Joint-Stock Company "The United Energy System of Russia" and a "Concern Rosenergoatom" of Minatom - will have to compete in a deregulated domestic energy market after 2004. This competition, I argue, will have serious consequences for Minatom in terms of the cost of maintaining nuclear safety and security at its facilities in the harsh market conditions in Russia. It should be added here that the structural reorganization of the Ministry is still under way, and several new Joint Stock Companies have recently appeared (see Appendix I). To accelerate the process of restructuring, Minatom set up an Association on Restructuring and Integration of its nuclear fuel cycle in 2002, which was a preparatory step for the plans of the Ministry to import spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing and storage in its industrial facilities. In this light, Minatom's steps towards deeper restmcruring of the nuclear industry can be seen as a convincing job at identifying difficulties and searching for the ways of resolving problems of the 1990s. But, the Ministry's officials have admitted themselves that these efforts have been insufficient so far to complete the job. Most importantly, the issues that this thesis is most concerned about - nuclear safety and security - have not been fully addressed and openly discussed by Minatom. Thus, we can observe only the limited structural change in the case with Minatom during the 1990s that explains, among all, the lack of policies aimed at the implementation of nuclear and radioactive safety and security in the industry. Speaking of the ways, in which Minatom as an institution, prevented policy change during the 1990s, I would argue that it was a complicated structure of the Ministry that exerted growing institutional pressure, which, in its turn, prevented the implementation of the new Minatom's policy. Rooted in the Soviet nuclear bureaucracy, endemic to such a powerful and enormously large organization as Minatom, the old style standard behavior of the latter remained in place, which, I believe, protected it from the destructive tendencies in the Russian society of the early 1990s. Since 1998, it was again Minatom's standard patterns of organizational behavior that helped the new minister to slowly proceed with the structural reforms. The lack of efficiency in the work of the Ministry's top officials can also be considered as a supportive argument in this respect. Indeed, the growing complexity of tasks of the 1990s has not allowed performing them efficiently by a large number of individuals in Minatom's top management, who have been raised in the Soviet tradition and reached the peak of their bureaucratic careers by 2000. Thus, I am concluding here that Minatom's organizational behavior retarded deep changes of its policies. At this point, it could be argued that Minatom has reanimated its old patterns of behavior stemming from its glorious past. But if we look at the structural changes in Minatom itself and in the nuclear industry of Russia taking place in the 1990s, it seems reasonable to suggest that a strict, institutional approach is not a plausible argument, since we have witnessed a number of changes that do not fit this theoretical explanation. Further in this chapter, I will focus specifically on the changes that do not perfectly fit the institutional framework. II.2 Minatom's Approach to Problems of Maintaining Nuclear Safety and Security: Why Worry? In terms of maintaining and implementing nuclear and radioactive safety and security, the Soviet legacy of Minatom has become a heavy burden and a cause for concern, not only for Russia, but also for the international community. Indeed, the 20 dominant scholarship holds the view that the problems existing in the Russian nuclear cycle and its strategic forces will eventually have a profound impact on political stability and global security (see Gareev 1998; Lepingwell 1993; Nikolaev 1999; Odom 1998; Sakwa 2002; Tsygichko 1994; Webber 2000). But roughly speaking, this claim conveys the main emphasis of the scholarly work on policy implications for the Russian Federation, and particularly for its foreign, defense, and security policy. Turning to the problems of maintaining and implementing nuclear safety and security in the industry within Minatom's jurisdiction and looking at the bulk of research conducted on this topic, it can be argued that a mass of empirical findings allows us to move on and examine in more detail changes in Minatom's activities and policies. However, I tend to think that further research should focus more on the origins of the problems specific to the nuclear industry, which are likely to persist in Russia, and which are rooted in the domestic context much more than it is commonly believed. One way of approaching the analyses of the problems pertaining to nuclear safety and security is to understand the Minatom's role in formulating and articulating nuclear strategy in Russia today. Here - less prominently, yet still discernibly - is another suggestion that Minatom should become a starting point in this case, since the actual machinery of the Russian defense and security policy as well as its foreign policy is inexplicable without this force. Vladimir Putin's accession to power in the Kremlin in December 2000 triggered the most recent reshuffling in the Ministry, when Alexandr Rumyantsev was appointed the Minister of Minatom in March 2001. As we can see from the previous chapter, the restructurings of the 1990s have advanced a new agenda for Minatom, dictated primarily by the political and economic situation in the country. 21 Speaking about Minatom's approaches towards nuclear safety and security, it is important to remember that the "weakness of regulatory oversight over Russia's nuclear industry," as Richard Sakwa notes, "was notorious." The author goes on, "none of Russia's twenty-eight nuclear plants had a full safety certificate" (Sakwa 2002:327). Yet, the minister for economic energy, Evgenii Adamov, planned to build another twenty-three nuclear power stations, as well as forty advanced fast breeder reactors. It is obvious that today these plans have not changed, and a new minister Alexandr Rumyantsev has not only facilitated the work of the Ministry in that direction, but also has made steps towards deeper restructuring of the industry in order to further adjust it to the Adamov's plan (see Rumyantsev 2002). So, analyzing the impact of the restructurings in Minatom on nuclear safety and security, we should remember about the continuity of Minatom's policy on nuclear power development. In this part of the thesis, I argue that today, Minatom has become practically invulnerable in terms of external control over its activities. I also argue that the latter fact stems directly from a chain of restructurings in Minatom that have not been completed yet. The growing independence of the Ministry, I maintain, is revealing much about the ways this bureaucracy has fought to maintain its relevance to the RF government and the country. Forget Chernobyl Since 1986, a black date in the history of the Soviet nuclear industry, when the 4th reactor exploded in Chernobyl (Ukraine), nuclear and radioactive safety has become a cause of serious public concern that cannot be ignored by the Ministry's officials any longer. During the 1990s, the problem of nuclear safety has become a focus in the heated debates between the environmental Russian NGOs and Minatom's officials, especially after 2000, when the Ministry adopted a new strategy of nuclear power development in Russia and announced its plan of importing spent nuclear fuel from abroad. In this context, the issues of nuclear safety and security have become more acute than ever. Indeed, by reorganizing the industry's cycles along lines dictated by political and economic necessity, Minatom has moved on towards deeper restructurings. Among the perils of the latter, looms a possible privatization of some facilities, which suggests, most of all, possible foreign participation. Today, the Russian law prohibits privatization of the enterprises of the nuclear cycle in principle: the state control over fissile materials, the enterprises and facilities of strategic importance are still there. Nonetheless, the present minister Alexandr Rumyantsev has expressed his disagreement with this approach by arguing that there are some sectors in the nuclear industry that could be privatized, for instance, suppliers of equipment for nuclear power plants, in order to get financing and investments in those sectors. He favors an idea of the creation of joint stock companies with the 100% participation of the state. However, if one looks more closely at the model discussed by the Minatom's officials, one can trace a clear tendency of the Ministry to monopolize this sector of economy, and in case of foreign participation, to mediate the possible deals. What is lacking, in his opinion, is a more sophisticated concept of privatization that could be applied to the nuclear industry (Rumyantsev 2002). We have every reason to think that in painstaking search for investments Minatom is ready to lobby this highly controversial plan in the Russian State Duma.3 In his interview to the Russian Information Agency "Vremya Novostei," a Deputy Minister of Minatom, Bulat Nigmatulin, has emphasized the importance of attracting more capital, including possible 3 A lower house of a Federal Assembly, which is a Russian legislative structure (Mahler and Maclnnis 2002:381.) 23 foreign investments, into the nuclear industry that has become a priority in Minatom's policy. And this policy, I argue, is more about the dictates of common sense than about the dictates of reason and conscience. It is clear that a possible privatization of some sectors in nuclear power production will go hand in hand with the deregulation of the Russian energy market planned for 2004, and eventually will lead to a loose state control over this sector of the nuclear industry. At the same time, the Ministry would not lose its hold on its property, having a lion's share in every single joint stock company working in the Russian nuclear market. Thus, privatization can be viewed as a point where the bureaucratic group interest of Minatom top management diverges from the national interest, or might even threaten the latter. However, privatization is not the only way of injecting money into the industry, especially after successful restracturing of the nuclear energy sector in 2002, when a giant concern "Rosenergoatom" was created. The Ministry has put particular emphasis on another concept of a new credit nuclear policy, which implies borrowing money from banks, investing it into the operation of the old nuclear power plants, and subsequently, building the new ones. In the light of deregulation coupled with privatization, the prospects for Minatom look bright. In case it really happened, reliance on nuclear energy would increase, because there is not yet a sufficient number of domestic alternatives available at competitive costs, and consequently, paying off the debts would not be difficult. To illustrate how this approach would work in practice, Bulat Nigmatulin suggested that the building of the two new blocks in the Balakovo nuclear power plant (the Saratov region of Russia) be financed according to that new scheme. To add, the centralization of management in this sector under the auspices of "Rosenergoatom" -24 Minatom's newly bome off-spring - would also allow the reduction in the price of 1 kilowatt /hour by 15% and increase a power factor of the existing nuclear plants from 70% up to 90% in 2005 (Gorelov 2002). Minatom's Deputy Minister has disclosed the new plans in the article symbolically entitled Zabyt' Chernobyl'/ Forget Chernobyl, arguing that one of the priorities of a new strategy for Minatom will be the implementation of nuclear safety. However, I would argue that this is rather a policy of wishful thinking than reality, and an invisible radioactive cloud of Chernobyl is looming over Minatom's possessions. In 2002, a federal program "Nuclear and Radioactive Safety in Russia" got only 131 million roubles instead of 1 billion 138 million roubles, which is less than 10% of the funds as the representative of local environmental NGO argue (Ulyanova 2002). The author lists several striking, though typical, examples of Minatom's attitude towards managing the problems of environmental safety today. For instance, a chemical facility in Kirovo-Chepetsk (the Kirov region of Russia) previously belonging to Minsredmash was privatized in 1994 with 51% of shares belonging to Minatom. And, since then, the local environmental situation has been aggravated significantly: the storage for fissile materials has been slowly breaking down, and radioactive wastes have spread beyond the industrial territory. As a result, the level of radioactive contamination in the estuary of the Vyatka River has 1300 times exceeded the permissible norms. It can be argued that with the economic collapse of the 1990s, the environmental situation in Russia has worsened considerably due to the lack of financing for environmental protection in all industries, and the nuclear one is not an exception. Although, the RF government has finally adopted a federal law on environmental 25 protection in 2002 that considers the latter as an element of national security, still, there is no law enforcement that regulates this particular sphere in the Russian law. So, this law is of little practical use, and this fact makes it a fetish in the context of the reorganization of the industry. It is important to note that Minatom does not find it necessary to initiate any practical steps towards new environmental law enforcement and its implementation in the industry. Rather, the Ministry's top officials as well as local personnel rely mainly upon the inner regulations and instructions on maintaining safety and security in their routine practice. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to forget about the Chernobyl catastrophe, since the attitude of the authorities towards the issues of nuclear and environmental safety has not changed that much, and in many instances worsened. Moreover, there are new tendencies in the interpretation of the tragic past experience of Chernobyl: Alexandr Rumyantsev has deliberately used this image as a synonym of "radiophobia," substituting the meaning of the former and distancing himself from the tragic past (Volkov 2002). This shift of meanings clearly demonstrates the real attitude of Russian top nuclear management not only towards the problems of safety, but also towards the questions of continuity and moral responsibility for the Ministry's mistakes in its past. Considering the fact the reactors of a Chernobyl-type are still operation in every RF region, Minatom's minister has found nothing better than to mock the fear of people, who are at its mercy. So, Minatom's top officials are not haunted by the tragic image of Chernobyl any more in the sense that they do not care about fixing urgent environmental problems at their facilities in order to protect the population before the Ministry embarks on its new projects. 26 Farewell to GAN? I would also argue that a chain of endless reorganizations of the governmental bodies responsible for environmental protection in Russia is a common practice for avoiding responsibility. It is no accident, I believe, that Russian Federal Inspectorate for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor or GAN), created in 1991 to supervise all Russian nuclear enterprises and facilities, has lost the lion's share of its responsibilities under the pressure from Minatom by 2000. The story of GAN, I maintain, is a litmus paper test for identifying safety mechanisms that have been in place in the Ministry for a long time. Briefly reviewing the GAN's history, it becomes clear that the period from 1991 to 1993 was the most "successful" for this state committee. Indeed, both Minatom and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in whose jurisdiction we find all Russian nuclear facilities, were preoccupied with their own problems, and were not able to exert intense pressure on GAN (Fatigarov 1993; "Nuclear Safety Agency Concerned over Military Facilities" 1995; "Denial of Nuclear Oversight of Forces Questioned" 1995). However, GAN made no progress in its inspection activities, neither did it succeed in implementing the regulation of nuclear activity. The latter includes such monumental tasks as the "development of regulatory guidelines for nuclear and radiation safety, material control and accounting, physical protection and radioactive waste management" ("Russia: Nuclear Related Administrative Bodies" 2003). Although formally GAN's power continued to be extended by a series of Presidential Directives, e.g., Directives No 636, or No 1923 of 15 September 1994 entitled "Urgent Measures for the Improvement of the Nuclear Material Accounting and Safeguards Systems" through 1994, GAN started to experience growing pressure from the two powerful ministries mentioned above as early as 1993 followed by the first reduction in its supervising staff (Kolesnikov 1993). Nonetheless, the year 1994 was a peak in GAN's activity, when its annual report revealed the scale and complexity of the problems besieging the Russian nuclear industry. In particular, the report of 1994 has indicated that Minatom has been operating without having complete information on all sites of storage and disposals of radioactive wastes in the industry. What was more disturbing, according to GAN, was the lack of reliable sources of information as well as lost connections with the former Soviet republics, where such facilities had been in operation before the USSR collapse. Moreover, the report stated that there was no state system of control in Russia, the information available was not exhaustive, and the most important information was inaccessible. The report produced a bomb effect on the Russian society, and the same year the responsibility for fuel-cycle related activities was transferred from Minatom to GAN (Bolsunovsky and Menshchikov 1994). In 1995, according to Leonard Spector and Andrey Zobov, GAN still could not get a detailed inventory list of Minatom's nuclear resources, and by that time it became obvious that the Minatom quietly sabotaged the implementation of interdepartmental supervision of nuclear safety by GAN (Spector and Zobov 1995). It is important to emphasize the fact that Minatom was not in the epicenter of the battle for power to supervise safety measures then, instead, the Ministry of Defense was defeating GAN by lobbying for Presidential Directive No 350-rp "Questions of State Supervision of Nuclear and Radiation Safety and "Amendments and Additions to the Statute on the Russian Federal Inspectorate for Nuclear and Radiation Safety." GAN was stripped of powers to supervise safety measures over military nuclear facilities, which GAN previously had 28 ("Statute on Nuclear, Radiation Safety Updated" 1995). It was in 1995, when G A N Chairman Yuriy Vishnevskiy spoke against that decision and warned the public about a serious threat posed by Russia's military nuclear facilities, including the greatest danger of an accident. The Interdepartmental Commission on Environmental Protection of the Russian Security Council objected that decision as well, focusing on the fact of transfer of control over nuclear safety from G A N to a military agency (Kukanov and Timashova 1995). Aggravated by the end of 1996, a financial crisis in G A N crowned that situation, when the agency owed more than $137 million, and that resulted in losing GAN's communication systems, which linked it with some nuclear facilities. Despite the fact that G A N was carrying out hundreds of inspections in non-military facilities during the period of 1996 - 2000, a new legislation (which was, in fact, an amendment to the 1995 Atomic Energy Act) signed by President Putin in 2000, further reduced the regulatory power of this federal agency. So, Minatom has been controlling its facilities independently, whereas G A N is left with the task of providing outside safety supervision. The amendments, according to Ann MacLachlan, "would essentially remove all G A N licensing authority over Russian nuclear power plant operations" (MacLachlan 2000). Chairman, Yuriy Vishnevsky, has claimed more than once that Minatom retaliated for GAN's conclusions on the operation of those nuclear power plants, which were beyond their design lives. On the part of Minatom, it is quite understandable: i f the GAN's requirements were fulfilled, the Ministry would have lost most of its power plants that are currently operating in Russia. Unfortunately, G A N has been slowly giving in to Minatom's structures responsible for maintaining nuclear and radioactive safety, such as the International Nuclear Safety Center of Minatom (see Appendix 1). In November 2002, "Rosenergoatom" held an international conference on the problems of environmental monitoring in the Russian Federation. The Head of the Minatom's Department of Ecology, Tatyana Palitskaya, reported that the level of radioactive contamination in the Ministry's facilities was in compliance with the international norms. She also informed the public that a new independent structure "Audit Class" had been created a year before within the Minatom's structure in order to facilitate the environmental monitoring. The question here remains, though, why it is not GAN, but an unknown private company, which is entrusted to carry out the control over all nuclear power plants in Russia? The answer is almost uninteresting: Minatom is creating and financing its own controlling body according to the Presidential Directives and the legislature empowering it to provide the "internal inspections." It is no wonder that the findings of those inspections are serenely positive: no contamination and no breaches of environmental laws have been registered according to a new regulation. Elaborated by "Rosenergoatom" in 2002, this novelty should be approved by the RF Ministry of Nature Protection without even consulting with GAN. So, I can infer that a gap between "internal" (of Minatom) and "external" (of GAN) control over nuclear safety is rapidly growing. I tend to think that the reports made by GAN in the mid-1990s, and a subsequent crisis and defeat of the latter have been crucial to understanding Minatom's ways of maintaining and implementing nuclear safety in the industry. During the 1990s we have witnessed radical changes in the Ministry's structure that have had serious far-reaching policy implications for Minatom in terms of maintaining and implementing nuclear and radioactive safety. Firstly, the idea of 30 privatization and a new credit policy can potentially question Minatom's responsibility for effectively maintaining safety standards according to the international norms. A troubling moment here is the ongoing privatization of some enterprises and sectors of the nuclear industry, where Minatom's officials are looking for ways of optimizing the gains of being the only player in the field, even if it goes at odds with the vital national interests, particularly in the sphere of environmental protection. Secondly, manipulating the symbolic image of Chernobyl, in my view, is a foul rhetorical means used by the present top management in the Ministry in their attempt to distance themselves from the direct ministerial responsibility for acute technical and environmental problems persisting in the Russian nuclear industry. Third, restmcturings of the 1990s have also affected other nuclear-related administrative bodies such as GAN. There is little doubt today that Minatom's relationship with GAN has resulted in first splitting the control over the maintenance of nuclear and radioactive safety. But the fact of taking controlling functions from a civil state institution and concentrating power in the hands of one military agency, i.e., Ministry of Defense. Not less troubling, I maintain, is another fact of the creation of some private internal controlling bodies under the Minatom's roof. So, I can conclude that at the moment, Minatom has become practically invulnerable in terms of external control over its activities. The growing independence of the Ministry, I maintain, can reveal much about the ways this bureaucracy has fought to maintain its relevance to the RF government, and the following chapter will attempt to answer the question why Minatom has done that. 31 CHAPTER DLT Nuclear Management and Security Culture in Russia As we have seen, the major restructurings of the Russian nuclear industry under the auspices of Minatom were almost completed by 2000 with the adoption of the new Russia nuclear strategy of nuclear power development the same year. Minatom has reemerged as the only powerful governmental body responsible for the organization, realization, and implementation of programs aimed at modernization of the nuclear industry and defense conversion of the Russian nuclear complex. Having regained functions of a federal regulatory agency for control over the production and usage of nuclear energy, the Ministry is enjoying practically unchecked powers today, leaving GAN outside the doors of its enterprises and facilities. Since 2000, Minatom has restarted its new plans. One of the key questions today, though, is how these plans envisage the implementation of security in the industry besieged by economic, social, and environmental problems. In this chapter, I will explore a cultural approach in an attempt to understand how Minatom adapts to a rapidly changing international security environment, and in particular, how the Ministry's top officials and local personnel understand and implement security culture in the industry. I will focus on the emerging collective self-image of Minatom as a key social determinant, which is crucial to understanding the Ministry's role as a domestic and international actor, responsible for formulating and articulating nuclear policy of Russia, and for the norms of security culture in the nuclear industry. I argue that the creation a new self-image is a point of Minatom's strategy in order to win a life-and-death struggle for its new plan of importing and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel 32 (SNF) from abroad. Often treated as a representation of a Russian national identity by international actors, Minatom's collective self-image is an interesting case that demonstrates one possible answer to Robert Keohane's question of "how people and organizations define self-interest" (Keohane 1993:228). A starting theoretical point here is the idea that both domestic and international environments shape state identities (Katzenstein 1996:22; Wendt 1994:384-96). For the analysis of the Minatom's role in cultivating a new security culture in Russia, it seems critical to examine the Ministry's identity consciously or unconsciously maintained by various actors, involved in the cycle of nuclear production. I would argue that the plan to import SNF to Russia, actively supported by the U.S., is exactly the case of recognizing Minatom's legitimacy and elevating it's status as an organization that opens the doors of the international nuclear market, where membership is often restricted to states (Ruggie 1983: 261-85). Hence, it may be also argued that the latter case is possible only if an organization of a sub-state level, such as Minatom or any other federal body, possesses an image associated with distinct national, i.e., state, features. Moreover, these features should be framed in a pattern that can be easily identified by both domestic and transnational actors. In this chapter of the thesis, I put a special emphasis on the social view of the domestic and, less prominently, international environment, in which Minatom operates and exercises its powers. Following Peter Katzenstein, I argue here that the Ministry's collective self-image is constructed within that environment to a much greater extent than it is commonly believed (Katzenstein 1996:26). The newly emerged self-image of Minatom is critical to understanding specific organizational security culture, 33 existing in the Russian nuclear industry as well as its implications for international security environment. D X 1 Repairing Minatom's Image The wind of change blown over Minatom in the turbulent 1990s has brought a sudden change in the public image of the Ministry, often regarded as the "opening doors" policy. Clearly, these minor changes, often regarded as "opening doors" policy, could hardly be overlooked by the public activists, and especially by the Minatom's political opponents in the Russian State Duma. Indeed, the liberal political block "Yabloko," headed by Grigoriy Yavlinskiy and environmental NGOs in Russia, are well aware of the installation of a press-office in Minatom, which displays press center announcements and posts information about the developments in the industry. Despite the efforts of the Russian top nuclear management to get rid of an old Soviet-style image of Minatom, associated with strict secrecy, today's image of Minatom does not satisfy the Ministry's officials either. As Charles Digges writes, "Changing minds is not an easy undertaking for a government ministry that has for the past five decades, and counting, been complicit in covering up and feeding some of the most egregious health, environmental and security threats that world has ever known" (Digges 2002). The author's sharp comments regarding the negative, and sometimes belligerent, attitude of the Ministry towards environmentalists, or "the greens" as the officials often call them, and whistleblowers, such as journalists, Alexandr Nikitin and Grigoriy Pasko, persecuted for releasing information on Russia's practices of nuclear waste disposals, do not leave much hope to believe in a "kinder and gentler Minatom." So, there is little doubt that the Ministry's officials are preoccupied with the creation of a new image of Minatom. And here, an important question should be asked: Why does the Ministry need a "new face?" On one 34 hand, it could be righteously argued that Minatom needs to get both public and official support for its new extensive plans, which are discussed further in this chapter. On the other hand, underlying this theme is the observation that such a simplistic explanation would not help uncover deeper processes that are going on behind the closed doors in the Ministry and in the Russian State Duma as well. The Question: Theoretical Background Approaching Minatom's attempts to create a new image from a cultural perspective, I would analyze the former by using the theoretical concept of a collective self-image (Kowert and Legro 1996:475). In the case of Minatom, I argue, a collective self-image of the Ministry is an organizing device that supports the former as for an institution, exerting influence on other societal actors. Following Mathew Hirshberg, I argue that a major function of such an image is to form a collectivity imbued with a common sense of purpose (Hirshberg 1993:78). At the same time, the Ministry's collective self-image can also be considered in a broader framework of another concept of a national-self image for mainly two reasons. First, Minatom is an official federal authority that represents the Russian Federation internationally, and consequently, its collective self-image exerts influence on Russian external behavior, e.g., in the spheres of foreign and security policy. So, in the international arena, this collective self-image is often perceived and treated as a representation of a Russian national identity. In this thesis, I am going along the line drawn by Bo Petersson and using "national" to refer to the political community, i.e., the state, or in other words, here "the usage will refer to civic nationhood, not the ethnic community" (Petersson 1998: 7). Second, domestically, Minatom's image is being created in an attempt to exert an influence on those who are 35 related to Minatom professionally, i.e. involved in the work of the Russian nuclear complex. Equally, the Ministry is deeply interested in expanding its influence in the sphere of politics, primarily for lobbying its projects in the Russian State Duma. Hence, in a domestic arena, this collective self-image works for internal cohesion in the political sphere. It is also important to point out that I will deliberately isolate and describe a collective self-image of Minatom, shared by a narrow group of people belonging to a top nuclear management in Russia. In this sense, I am talking about a national collective self-image shared by one group, but apparently not being the property of all the workers in the nuclear industry, or other groups of the RF population. However, focusing on top Minatom officials as a group, interested in the creation of a collective self-image, it should be noted here that they might not have a sophisticated understanding of that fact, even sharing the same group identity. In order to understand and explain an identity of this particular group of people, I maintain, the psychology of common interests evaluations could be helpful. Jean Piaget contends that one of the factors of normal human behavior is building attachments and promoting cohesion among group members. In its turn, the latter requires a specific socio-psychological behavior of a subjective image and in-group bias (Piaget 1965). Individuals can be attached to the group due to the fact that this group fulfills some symbolic value (Rudi 1982; Stogdill and Bass 1981). I find the latter argument extremely helpful for understanding Minatom's approach towards its history as a token image of the Ministry's power in the past. At the same time, some scholars note that individuals will interact with individuals who are members of another group if this group's members share some commonality with in-group members (Brewer and Kramer 1985:219). The authors conclude that the members of both groups are more trusting of each other and thereby 36 facilitate cooperation among members. This argument casts light on Minatom's close cooperation with Russian politicians and industrial lobby groups, when their common interest, though pursued for different reasons, is the basis for developing trust. In this chapter of the thesis, I also argue that the idea of building trust to Minatom as an organization lies at the core of its image-creation project. And here, William Gamson's definition of trust seems helpful for the analysis of Minatom's ultimate goals, "the probability of getting preferred outcomes without the group doing anything to bring them about" (Gamson 1968:54). What can be inferred from that is the idea of a lack of control, i.e., group members will not need to monitor each other because there is confidence that interests are aligned. I tend to think that this is particularly the logic of the Ministry in dealing with transnational actors, especially with the businessmen, representing the interests of the American side in a plan of the SNF import. To add, I would also argue that not only trust in itself is the purpose for Minatom today, but also the level of trust is significant as well. Robert Putnam has demonstrated that the level of trust one has for others produces effective institutional performance because of the higher probability of obtaining cooperation, which in turn, lowers the costs of association because of the perception that individuals will not cheat (Putnam 1993). Also, I find the idea of trust offered by Ronald Wintrobe applicable to the analysis of Minatom's behavior. He asserts that trust makes behavior predictable and stable, and consequently, it promises future returns on exchanges that would not otherwise take place (Wintrobe 1995: 46). From this perspective, the international cooperation of Russia in the field of nuclear disarmament in the early 1990s, as well as Minatom's role in it, could be considered as an example of Putnam's and Wintrobe's logic. Indeed, the cost of 37 environmental protection as well as nuclear waste management was staggering for Russia. Considering the fact of extreme danger posed by some Russian nuclear forces, and especially, its aging and ailing submarine fleet, the U.S. adopted the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act and started to finance the process of dismantling the Russian stocks at a cost of $400 million. However, as Douglas Roche notes, that sum later was cut as a result of Congressional opposition, and not only because "the costs of environmental remediation and waste management will probably exceed the costs of building the nuclear warheads in the first place" as the author asserts (Roche 1997:25). From a cultural-institutional perspective, the U.S. congressional opposition to the Cooperative Reduction Threat program can be explained as a loss of trust of those groups in Russia who were responsible for the realization of the program. The serious accusations of the Ministry's top officials, including the former minister, Yevgeniy Adamov, in financial mismanagement, though remaining unproved and denied by Minatom, have been, I maintain, only superficial indications of a deeper process of losing trust in Minatom as a partner. Losing trust, the members of different groups stop emphasizing the fact of common interest and similarities, which are still there, but focus more on the differences. At this point, cultural issues start to gain more relevance, and a collective national self-image is primarily conceived as a representation of a national identity. The latter process reinforces united actions of each partner and in-group biases that is a social condition in which individuals tend to favor members of their in-group versus others who are not members. Henri Taifel concludes that the cause of this bias is due to positive evaluations individuals have for members of their group since the group symbolizes a set of values 38 (Tajfel 1978; 1982:1). By associating with similar-valued individuals, an in-group self-esteem improves because values are reinforced and improved in comparison with an out-group. Therefore, group maintenance or cooperation for group survival becomes important. From this stance, Minatom's emphasis on a positive side of its image is a defensive measure, when trust is eroding in the relationship of the Ministry with domestic and international actors. Further, in this chapter, I will demonstrate how an elite-driven collective self-image of Minatom is deployed domestically and internationally. Operating the Minatom's Image Restructurings of the Ministry during the 1990s have revealed that the nuclear industry cannot sustain itself financially, considering a shrunken budget of the RF. At the same time, the program of nuclear disarmament should have been backed by the significant financial injections into the ailing industry. Having realized that the good old days have passed, and no more support is available, Minatom has been forced to look for ways of self-financing. The latter fact has been highly controversial in itself, considering the federal regulations prohibiting some forms of economic activity in the nuclear sector of the economy, e.g., privatization of its enterprises. Beyond that, I argue, there is another reason looming over Minatom's plans for the twenty-first century. I imply here an ideological project of regaining a status of a nuclear giant similar to the one the Ministry had in the Soviet period domestically, and probably, internationally. Realizing that, a grandiose plan to import and reprocess SNF seems to be a perfect match for Minatom's top management, and they have entered active negotiations with their U.S. counterparts. On a domestic front, the Ministry lobbied for political support of this plan in a State Duma. Finally, on 10 July 2001, President Vladimir Putin signed a set of federal 39 laws on environmental protection and nuclear energy uses, among which the "Decree on the establishment of the special commission on the issues pertaining to the import of irradiated foreign fuel assemblies to the Russian Federation" stands out. Minatom's officials have hailed the decree as a positive step that provides a legal basis for its plans on SNF import. The above-mentioned decree is, in fact, an amendment to a 1992 Presidential Decree that allowed companies selling nuclear technologies and radioactive materials to non-NWS under the IAEA control. According to Paul Webster, who refers to the information released by the Ministry, Minatom is pursuing contracts to import about 33,000 metric tons of U.S.- origin spent fuel piled in Brazil, the Czech Republic, India, Japan, Mexico, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and the European Union. Paul Webster believes that "taking back this waste is no longer politically feasible in the United States" despite the fact that SNF is still governed by a 1954 U.S. non-proliferation law (Webster 2002: 33-34). The experts in this field stress, "earlier attempts by industrial countries to establish international repositories for spent nuclear fuel in Australia, South Africa and Namibia were not successful. Proposals by private companies to construct such a repository on one of the islands in the Pacific Ocean that belongs to the U.S. caused a sharp negative reaction by the White House (see Popova et al. 1999). As to Russia, the feasibility of this ambitious SNF project also remains highly controversial for several strong reasons. The first set of issues pertains to the legal aspect of the SNF project. It could be argued that signing the federal law "On Making Amendments to Article 50 of the RSFSR Law "On Environmental Protection" has put an end to the debates over SNF, but what is lacking is the procedure of SNF import and return of reprocessing waste, which is not yet determined by the RF government. According to Vladimir Rybachenkov, this procedure 40 "has to rely on fundamental principles of nuclear nonproliferation, environmental protection and Russia's environmental interests" (Rybachenkov 2002: 2). The priority should be given, in the author's opinion, to the right to return the radioactive reprocessing waste to the state of origin of nuclear material. However, the most serious problem lies in the area of practical implementation of the laws on SNF, I argue, since Russia should have modernized and reliable technologies for storage and reprocessing SNF in compliance with the international standards of nuclear safety. The discussion of problematic practical implementation of these legislative acts brings in a set of important technical issues to be addressed as well. The persistence of problems with handling radioactive contamination in Russia questions the prospects of the SNF project that potentially presents an undefined danger to the development of any nuclear technology. It is important to note that Evgeniy Adamov, the former minister (1992 - 1998), recognized the fact that the Russian nuclear industry was not technologically ready to embark on this project in particular. It is believed that Adamov's disagreement on particularly this issue significantly worsened his relations with the political elite and contributed to his dismissal. Nevertheless, the plan to handle SNF and plutonium has been incorporated into the "Strategy of Nuclear Power Development in Russia in the First Half of the 21st Century" discussed in Chapter 2 of this thesis. Adopting a concept of the development of the current nuclear industry into a large-scale technology, I argue, is a conscious choice by the Ministry. The top officials in Minatom believe that SNF can be treated in Russia from the WER-440 reactors (constructed in Russia and abroad with Russian technical assistance), BN-600 reactors, submarine reactors, as well as, most research reactors excluding the research reactor in Dubna. The treatment of spent fuel from the reactor BN-41 350 seems to be continued. According to the experts of, the spent nuclear fuel is treated with extraction of unutilized fissionable material, actinides (americium and curium), long living products of fission (cesium-137, strontium-90, technetium-99, iodine-129). The extraction of the unutilized nuclear fuel is important from the strategic viewpoint because the uranium mines will be exhausted in approximately 50 years and in no longer than a century. At present all of the nuclear power plants are producing about 5% of the world's supplemental energy. The realistic approach may allow increasing up to 30% (there are some plans of increasing up to 50%, but it is hardly possible). It was also argued that the funds, gained from storage and treatment of foreign SNF and supposed to be paid in advance, could be used for ecological needs. However, the storage and treatment of SNF should be paid immediately, while financing of these processes could be partly postponed, which means, in fact, receiving credits bearing no interest. And it is particularly the financial scheme for the SNF project that has become the strongest argument in the hands of the opposition, accusing the top Minatom's officials of financial mismanagement. It is feared that the money paid for these services will never find its way to the environmental organizations responsible for ecological remediation of the contaminated areas. According to Minatom's official line of reasoning, "the imported spent fuel will be stored for 25-40 years. Most of the products of fission will naturally decay, some part of the fuel may be sent back and the rest should be reprocessed. The products of reprocessing may be used in the nuclear fuel cycle. Russian experts assume that the storage for 25-40 years is optimal, for in the second half of the 21st century our nuclear energy may need regenerated products" (Rybachenkov 2002:2-3). To illustrate this argument, the experts refer to the RT-1 plant at Mayak (Chelyabinsk) facility, which has 42 been successfully reprocessing SNF of the first generation of the Soviet reactors W E R -440 for more than 20 years. More specifically, the SNF coming from Russia and Eastern Europe by 2025 is currently planned to be reprocessed at the RT-2 plant in Minatom's modernized facility Krasnoyarsk-26. It is believed that some waste resulting from reprocessing will be transmuted (transformation of long half-life radioactive elements into short half-life substances); some waste will be mineralized and buried. The share of buried waste will not exceed 10% of the initial amount of spent fuel (Rybachenkov 2002:4). Speaking about the revenues, which may amount to no less than $20 billion, the experts fully rely upon Minatom's data. "These calculations are based on current world prices of spent fuel management: reprocessing with return of radioactive waste - $600-1,000 per kilo ($800 on average); long-term spent fuel storage - $300-600 per kilo (there is no market yet, data based on evaluations); reprocessing without return of radioactive waste and plutonium - $1,200-2,000 per kilo ($1,600 on average)" (ibid.). There is little doubt that the Ministry is tempted by the possible financial gains, since currently it gets only one thirtieth of the indicated sum of the deal on SNF with the U.S. side. And lastly, the third set of issues impeding the Minatom's plan to import and reprocess SNF in Russia lies in a strong public disapproval of this project that cannot be ignored by all the interested parties. For instance, Charles Digges cites Minatom's Director for Information Policy, Nikolai Shingarev, "some 90% of the country was opposed to the imports, which are now beginning to trickle in from Eastern European customers" (Digges 2002). In brief, environmentalists put forward a compelling argument: Minatom has no new technological basis to handle SNF in principle. But, what they have, is only the idea of getting immediate payment for storage and treatment of this dangerous material. A notorious failure of Russian NGOs' initiatives to hold a national 43 referendum on this issue has demonstrated a deep interest of the RF government not to openly debate this problem, and not to legitimize the action of NGOs in this case. The Central Election Commission played a leading role in that process by disqualifying 600,000 signatures of Russian citizens out of a total 2.5 million signatures submitted that eventually resulted in the Commission's decision not to hold the referendum on this divisive issue. So, I have every reason to suggest that we have witnessed here a clear indication of cohesion of interests of the RF government and Minatom in the political sphere. Interestingly, all sides involved into the dispute over the SNF import to Russia frame their arguments differently. The official Minatom position is merely technocratic and apolitical, i.e., the problem of SNF is a narrow scientific and technical question that should be handled exclusively by the specialists. The RF government has taken a "zero" approach: SNF is not a political issue, so it is fully in the Minatom's hands. So, in the eyes of the government, Minatom is a trustful partner. The environmentalists focus primarily on the ecological and social aspects of the SNF project, though their approach seems to be a holistic one. Indeed, all sides in the dispute can accept the arguments advanced mainly by the environmental NGOs. The strongest in the row is the fact that only three Minatom enterprises - Chelyabinsk-65, Krasnoyarsk-26, and Tomsk-7 -account for more than 95% of global radioactive waste contaminating surface and underground water systems today. Three other issues widely debated by the opposition, which cannot be easily ignored, include the problem of inadequate infrastructure at the above-mentioned facilities, the possible financial mismanagement of the SNF project by the Russian side stemming from the corporate nature of decisions adopted by top nuclear management, and finally, the absence of efficient state and public control coupled with an 44 extremely under-developed system of social guaranties for the Minatom's personnel and the RF population living in the territories adjacent to the Ministry's facilities. Image as Information Filter Under the circumstances, the Minatom's top management has realized that in order to overcome mass domestic opposition and to lower tension in the regions, the Ministry should organize its work in such a way that it could filter all information related to its projects. I argue that Minatom has undertaken a concerted effort to create its collective image with a strong, positive effective component, and to use it for carrying out monumental tasks. I base my argument here on Martha Cottam's idea of an "image" as a "cognitive device and information filter" (Cottam 1992:3). Indeed, by recognizing sharp criticism from below regarding its SNF project, Minatom has started to concentrate the public attention on the advantageous side of its plan, e.g., good prospects of full employment and timely payments to the personnel of those facilities, which are currently in the midst of socio-economic collapse. It is namely a positive component of any collective image that is, in Nadim Rouhana's view, the axis holding collective identification together (Rouhanal997: 15). Moreover, I argue that the collective nature of the Ministry's self-image, which is still undergoing the formation process, is not only restricted to Minatom's turbulent present, but also, according to Herbert Kelman, "has a bearing on its past and future" (Kelman 1965:24). From this perspective, numerous references to Chernobyl made by Minatom's officials today are in line with the Minatom's strategy aimed at the creation of a new collective self-image since they show the Ministry's readiness to openly discuss the issues pertaining to nuclear and radioactive safety. For instance, in the most recent of his interviews, the Minister Rumyantsev has come back to the Chernobyl catastrophe in 45 the context of the question of the SNF import project. He has stated that the environmental consequences of the SNF project cannot be compared to the ones caused by the 1986 accident, for "Chernobyl was not the problem of SNF" (Rumyantsev 2002). Clearly, causation has been broken in this short argumentation, but the purpose of it has been not to reveal any, but to switch attention from the negative to the positive. The latter is another example of a repeated pattern in Russian official media coverage of the problems of nuclear industry. Nobody in Minatom today denies the danger of a nuclear accident, but the latter is presented exclusively in the framework of debates over the implementation of safety and security, and never framed in terms of potential threat and/or insecurity. To maximize a positive effect of its new image, Minatom uses a sophisticated rhetoric, to which a notion of safety is central, for instance, the word "safe" is commonly used in such combinations as "safe technology," "safe environment," "nuclear safety and security," etc. Unfortunately for its opponents, Minatom is in a legitimate position to formulate and articulate safety and security. And, it could be argued that this elitist narrative of nuclear safety and security has become dominant in Russia due to several reasons. First, domestically Minatom enjoys overall support of the RF government and the State Duma. Obviously, the support of the RF government, based on common sense of purpose (Hirshberg 1993:78), helps Minatom maintain its positive collective self-image. Speaking of this support, we are talking about almost unanimous opinion of the deputies in the State Duma. Analyzing the perspectives of the "greens" in their opposition to the SNF project, Vasiliy Zhidkov, a general director of one of the Minatom's facilities, mentions the fact that recently the opposition has been able to get only 1.5% of votes in Krasnoyarsk during the elections to the regional Legislative Assembly (Zhidkov 2002). 46 The reaction of the Russian political elite to the SNF project of Minatom has demonstrated that a collective self-image of the Ministry can become a real basis for its domestic cohesion with the political elite. Indeed, both groups express the same attitude towards the Russian environmental NGOs by constructing a collective negative image of the former in the eyes of the Russian public. The "greens" are presented as small scattered groups of technically backward people, collaborating with "foreigners" of all colors and stripes, and consequently, betraying Russia's national interests. Apparently, at this background Minatom reemerges as a progressive collectivity with an institutional support. As Bo Petersson notes, "it would be in the interests of the political leaders of a country to try to foster a positive self-image" (Petersson 1998:6). The author offers the concept of national self-images that, in his view, is fruitful in a study reflecting facets of political developments in post-Soviet Russia. Following Bo Petersson, I argue that it is a centrifugal tendency that sustains Minatom's collective self-image and ties it to an image of a Russian political elite. I would also suggest that this is particularly the case of mutual construction of self-images, when a collective image of Minatom is blurred with the image of a Russian political elite. It is often difficult to draw a line between the two in the domestic context and almost impossible to do that for transnational actors when dealing with the Ministry's top officials. Second, it is Minatom's image radiating symbolic power that develops trust of the international community (exclusively for the reason mentioned above) that prefers Minatom's discourse of safety and security to other discourses existing in Russia today. Why? To answer this question, I am moving on to the final part of this chapter, where I take a closer look at the problems of developing a new security culture in Russian nuclear industry. 47 m.2 Developing A New Security Culture? In this part of the thesis, I will examine Minatom's practice of safeguarding and securing fissile materials and dismantled nuclear weapons at its facilities and the role of the Ministry in formulating and articulating new approaches to nuclear security in the Russian nuclear industry. I hope to demonstrate that the case with Minatom is particularly interesting from a cultural-institutional perspective since international actors, rendering technical and financial assistance to Russia, often treat Minatom's collective self-image as a representation of a national Russian identity. I will also argue here that this is a success of Minatom's strategy of creating a trustworthy collective self-image, on one hand, and a failure of international community on the other hand. And, two fundamental questions immediately arise here: how relevant is the idea to further entrust the resources exclusively to this federal agency, and why the international actors are so persistent in channeling transnational assistance destined for the nuclear disarmament and the implementation of nuclear safety and security directly to Minatom? For present purposes, it is important to bear in mind that the international community, appalled by the old style of the Minatom's security system, breaking apart in unison with the national economy during the 1990s, has widely debated the problems of maintaining security measures in Russia's facilities where nuclear weapons and materials are stored. Roughly, the following major potential dangers have been identified: 1) the risk of accidents; 2) a possible development of a nuclear smuggling network moving advanced weapons and parts from Russia (Roche 1997:20,23); 3) nuclear terrorism. In addition, it should also be noted that many scholars and scientists believe that the best defense against nuclear terrorism and proliferation today is to end civilian commerce in plutonium and bomb-grade uranium, and to reduce military stocks of these materials as 48 soon as possible. I fully agree with Douglas Roche, who contends, "since civilian use of plutonium is not likely to end, for a long time a rigid tightening of the system of international safeguards is our best defense against nuclear terrorism" (Roche 1997:23). It is obvious that Minatom cannot be unaware of these possible developments in its vast nuclear empire. Although the size of the nuclear Russian arsenal is impressive, it is important to add that Russia has increased its reliance on NW since May 2000 with the adoption of a new concept of national security, resurrecting the right of the first nuclear strike (National Security Concept of the Russian Federation 2000). Considering the changes in Russian security policy coupled with the restructuring of its nuclear industry, it may be also argued that the Ministry has taken necessary measures to provide for the level of security appropriate to the level of potential threats. Responding to the arguments about the possible gaps in its security systems, Minatom's officials are constantly reiterating the idea that a large-scale development of the Russian nuclear industry is more preferable than the condition of its stagnation, by which they imply the present stage of the industry's development. In terms of the SNF treatment, the variant of "stagnation" implies only storage of SNF, in which case the level of ionizing radiation declines and the risk of theft and transformation of SNF into weapon materials in the secret laboratories (which are difficult to discover) grows dramatically. When reprocessing is included into the SNF treatment, the Minatom's experts maintain, the risk of theft, or illegal extraction of plutonium decreases, for plutonium from the nuclear weapon and SNF is switched to a balanced cycle of breeder nuclear fission reactors. Another important detail is that the necessity to develop fuel cycles based on thorium and uranium-233 has been also under active consideration in the Ministry for a long time. However, there is a serious concern about the inconsistency of the existing 49 Minatom's security culture with the nature and magnitude of modern threats not only in terms of technologies necessary for protecting nuclear materials, but also in terms of cultural factors that play a decisive role in developing a new security culture in Russian nuclear industry. Further, I argue that the Ministry, according to its logic of a positive collective image creation, should not suppress the debates over the problems of maintaining and implementing security at its facilities. On the contrary, I believe, Minatom may be deeply interested in the programs aimed at eliminating the problems in its security system, and may use its new image of an open and democratic organization to get financial assistance for that. It is extremely important to note here that the international actors involved in cooperation with the Ministry, in particular the U.S., are well aware of the scope of the problems existing in the Russian nuclear industry. In 1999 - 2000, the US Department of Energy sponsored the first program of training Minatom's officials on nuclear security awareness, and in November 2002 a preliminary report entitled "The Human Factor and Security Culture: Challenges to Safeguarding Fissile materials in Russia" was published by the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia (USA). It is noteworthy that the issues of nuclear security have been coupled with the cultural issues in this report that have appeared to be relevant to understanding the changes that we are now observing in Minatom and Russian nuclear industry. I argue that this has opened a productive line of research, recognizing the importance of combining cultural elements with other analytical alternatives for studying international relations (Katzenstein 1996; Meyer 1980; Wallerstein 1984). The findings of the report have demonstrated that Minatom is currently experiencing serious difficulties with personnel shortcomings in the background of the 50 ongoing socio-economic collapse. Among the problems identified as specific to nuclear industry, the primary importance is given to underdeveloped normative and legal basis as well as corruption and crime ("The Human Factor and Security Culture: Challenges to Safeguarding Fissile Materials in Russia" 2002: 18-23). However, I think that these problems, endemic to other sectors of Russian economy as well, can be hardly considered a revelation for Minatom. The same mistake has been repeated in an attempt to examine the human factors, influencing the mentality of people, working in the nuclear industry. A lot of emphasis has been put on the idea of the Soviet legacy in terms of cultural attitudes of the industry workers towards their professional duties. For instance, the impact of the Soviet political system is represented, according to the authors of the report, by double work standards, "scapegoat mindset," and poor implementation record (ibid. 12-17). Although it is difficult to disagree with the inferences made in that respect, I tend to think that there is a certain inconsistency in their line of reasoning. It can hardly escape notice that Minatom's image is selectively deployed in this report and appears, in fact, only in fragments of it, where they discuss relatively positive results of US-Russia cooperation or the prospects of it (ibid. 21,24, etc). In all other instances, no direct mentioning of Minatom can be traced, rather, the authors use various substitutive terms such as "the Russian nuclear personnel," "high-level/ low-level personnel," "Russian workers/ employees," etc. Thus, I argue that this is a clear case of treating Minatom's collective self-image as a representation of a national Russian identity by Minatom's partners, rendering technical and financial assistance directly to the Ministry. To illustrate this approach, I use an example of an offspring of a Nunn-Lugar program - a US-Russia collaborative program, providing material protection, control and accounting assistance to Russia (MPC&A). The authors of the report have come to the conclusion that the 51 MPC&A program "has made notable progress in improving Russian nuclear security." Further, we find the an official account of a joint statement of Spencer Abraham, the US Department of Energy Secretary, and Alexandr Rumyantsev, the Minatom's Minister, dated 29 November 2001, in which they announced that "the two countries have agreed to expand and accelerate efforts to improve MPC&A arrangements" (ibid 10-11). However, in Section 2 of the report on "The Human-Factor-Centered Mentality in Russia," no references to Minatom have been made when the burden of the Soviet past in the Russian nuclear industry is analyzed as if Minatom has been a newly bom organization that has nothing in common with Minsredmash. The security discourse of this section is centered on the ethnic notion of the "Russian security," which is too vague and can be broadly understood. The only time Minatom has been referred to in a negative security context has been when corruption and crime is discussed in the following Section 3. But, the wording, coupling various cases of financial mismanagement at all levels of the Ministry, is remarkable here, "Corruption is widespread among Minatom employees" (ibid. 22). The latter, I argue, is made deliberately in order not to focus on the different patterns of corruption and crime that should not be overlooked if one really decides to analyze the roots of it. I also tend to think that an overall positive image of Minatom as an organization is certainly there, and this is particularly noticeable in the final chapter of the report. Indeed, having a closer look at the conclusions made by a joint team of American and Russian researchers, one can observe a glaring discrepancy between their suggestions on how to nurture the nuclear security culture in Russia and the preceding feeble analysis. And here, several things stand out. First, the authors rely exclusively on the ministerial reports and other documentation as their only sources of information. Hence, the official 52 elitist discourse of nuclear security is dominant in this analysis. What is crucial about this gap between the official Minatom discourse of nuclear security and other possible variants of the latter, however, is the damage it continues to cause to the security regime in Russian nuclear industry. Every step, both in practice and rhetoric, retards the process of strengthening this regime because the Minatom's security discourse is being legitimized not only by the domestic political elite, but also by the international actors, involved in bilateral or multilateral relationships with Russian nuclear top management. This sets up a vicious circle: the nuclear security regime in Russia is unreliable - and we know that due to the efforts of numerous opponents of the Ministry's actions have to be taken to defend Russia and the world against the outcomes of that unreliability; but the Ministry's unilateral actions further increase the alleged unreliability of the regime and so on. This circle must be broken. And the first step towards that is the establishment of the civil independent control over the nuclear industry, e.g., resurrecting GAN as a federal body empowered to oversee the activities of Minatom as well as legitimizing the right of civilians to get information on Minatom's activities and plans, which is still classified. The heart of the problem here lies in a distinct difference between security discourses applied by different actors for varied political strategies. Second, the authors of the report believe that the West is able to help Russia to "appropriately" shape the human factor, and eventually, develop its nuclear security culture. This is a rather controversial statement, I argue, since fundamental differences between the U.S. and Russian approaches to nuclear security are rooted in cultural factors, which, in their turn, are embedded into the national cultural archetypes that cannot be changed in principle. For instance, the suggestion to change the perception of threat by Russian nuclear personnel is irrelevant from a cultural perspective since it relies 53 on an unexamined assumption about the functioning of the concept of threat in the Russian security discourse and about the nature of relationship between Minatom's top management and low-level employees on the one hand, and the Ministry's bilateral relations with the U.S. side on the other hand. Equally, the idea of a carefully designed campaign to introduce the whistle-blowing system in the Russian cultural context seems to be almost absurd if we agree with the authors' idea of a heavy burden of the Soviet past that influenced the security culture in Russia, for these are two mutually excluding ideas from a cultural perspective. Such problematization of nuclear security contradicts the assumption that the cultivation of motivated personnel, adhering to the best western practices, promotes nuclear security culture in Russia. Neither can I agree with the idea that alien cultural security standards can be transplanted into the national context, even in cases when these standards are internationally recognized. As a cultural entity, Russia is constantly reproducing its national security discourse, in which nuclear security is only an element of it. So, any effective solutions and efforts to generate security culture in Russia should not be based on exclusively dominant elitist security discourse of Minatom. From this stance, the Ministry is deeply interested rather in transplanting international standards of security culture from above than to work over implementing the existing national standards from below. Thus, I would argue, the bilateral US-Russian cooperation has facilitated Minatom's efforts to actively reproduce its dominant security discourse, which can potentially have serious implications for the future of security culture in Russia and beyond. New Initiatives and Acceleration As Janine Wedel asserts, "Theoretically, aid from the United States to Russia was to help nurture the bilateral relations. Aid was to serve as a bridge built by the 54 representatives of each side with the donor and recipient representatives carrying out agendas of their respective sides. In practice, however, representation can be problematic" (Wedel 1999:469). Indeed, Minatom has boldly embarked not only on the SNF project, but has started to actively consider some other possibilities such as the completion of "Brest", a "breeder" reactor, for plutonium production - Minatom's prototype of a nuclear perpetum mobile - that has never enjoyed the support of the American side. And here, again, Minatom has applied its tactics of selective deployment of security discourse by arguing that "Brest" is a perfect solution to the SNF problem for all the interested parties involved into the SNF project. They refer to the Bush-Putin agreement reached in May 2002 in the course of the negotiations on the strategic offensive arms reduction. In particular, Minatom has interpreted a rather loose text of the agreement about the US-Russia cooperation on developing new and environmentally safe nuclear technologies in its own interests, and has operated on this interpretation in its further discussions with the US Department of Energy. The American side, appalled by the Minatom's aggressive behavior, maintains that the discussion of the "breeder Brest" project contradicts the principle of the U.S. foreign policy. Nonetheless, the U.S. and the international community continue to channel assistance directly to Minatom, even though their fear of possible negative economic outcomes, e.g., financial mismanagement, as well as of the negative political results of cooperation with Minatom is constantly growing. The latter implies those results that contradict the previously announced goals of the American assistance. And here, the following question can be asked: Why is the American side, being well aware of the problems existing in the Russian nuclear industry and even losing control over the relationship with Minatom, still rendering financial assistance to the 55 Ministry? I suppose that a cultural-institutional approach may be helpful in the search for a plausible answer to the question posed above. I would argue that the Russian nuclear top management, being a relatively small group of people sharing the group collective self-image misinterpreted as a national self-image, has substituted the official stated goals of the RF side with its own group agenda in the field of nuclear cooperation with the U.S. As a recipient side, Minatom has easily found common ground with the donor side (U.S.) and made it confident by reassuring that the latter would be able to overcome the obstacles on its way to carrying out the donor side's mission. As a group, Minatom has been trustworthy and powerful in a domestic front that makes the American side believe that a reform of the Russian nuclear industry - set up to implement nuclear and radioactive safety and developing a new nuclear security culture - is possible. The American support has not only bolstered the Russian nuclear top management's standing as the chief negotiator on the nuclear issues, but also alienated Minatom from the civil society by spurning legitimate institutions. Moreover, Minatom has been extremely interested in the cooperation with the U.S. side, since it has legitimized its new image of a democratic open organization, and maximized the Ministry's opportunities domestically and internationally. Hence, I argue, the American side has not questioned the Minatom's approaches to nuclear safety and security in principle at the initial stage of cooperation. I also tend to think that there has been another factor influencing the American decision to get involved in the cooperation with Minatom. In their search for appropriate institutions to contain challenges and provide nuclear stability and security, the U.S. relied upon Minatom as a solid organization, whose behavior they could predict. Indeed, it has been a traditional, rational choice, considering the uncertainties of the post-Soviet transitional period in Russia. It should be noted here that the Americans have been 5 6 certainly disoriented in the early 1990s, when launching the Nunn-Lugar program of financial help to the Russian military and Minatom. Although the U.S. did not have firm guarantees of eventual success in their endeavor, I tend to think though, that they strongly believed in the possibility of surmounting cultural distance between the donors and the recipients in a nuclear disarmament game. Much later, there came an understanding of the real scope of tasks to be coped with, and simultaneously, the realization of the fact that cultural differences lie at the core of the aid failure. And here, the problem of identity is becoming more relevant than ever before. Indeed, by perceiving the Minatom's self-image as a representation of a Russian national identity, the U.S. partners of Minatom have not been innovative, in fact. It can be argued here that the American side has secured itself by applying a traditional approach to dealing with national governmental structures, for the latter has been the only pattern applicable at this time. In this way, both sides have reinforced each other's identities, and consequently, have become dependant on each other. The cooperation may be accelerated even in a combination of aggravating circumstances and lost trust. From this stance, the American partners cannot abandon the problematic donor-recipient relationships with Minatom since their own identity would be also damaged. So, the small groups of national elites, considering themselves international actors, can derail good projects and question some crucial principles of Western governance, e.g., the notion of representation and parliamentary, in the name of which this grandiose plan has been devised. CHAPTER IV Conclusion This paper has looked primarily at the reasons why Minatom's approach to the issues of nuclear safety and security has changed little since the 1991. The cultural-5 7 institutional analytical framework used to describe this relative lack of change has provided reasonable explanation. From this perspective, I can conclude that there has been a zero impact on the security culture in the Russian nuclear industry whereas a nuclear and radioactive situation in Russia has been aggravated significantly due to the degenerative changes in the industrial nuclear cycle, stemming from the structural causes, though. However, several troubling moments have been identified it the background of deep structural changes of the 1990s in Minatom's industry. Domestically, the Ministry has regained its unlimited powers and rushed into the competition over the energy market. Coupled with the growing appetite for investments, Minatom has crashed the fundamental principle of organization of the Russian nuclear industry and started to aggressively lobby for the legislative initiatives in the State Duma, which allow the privatization of some sectors of the nuclear complex. It is feared that hypothetically the latter implies the possibility of joint stock companies with direct, or indirect participation of foreign investors. Another troubling moment in Minatom's behavior is an attempt to reconsider its tragic experience and distance itself from the past and present environmental problems haunting the Russian nuclear industry. In contrast to its zeal to get a set of laws enacting the privatization of the nuclear sector of the economy, the Ministry has shown no interest so far in initiating any practical steps towards new environmental law enforcement and its implementation in the industry. And finally, a third moment causing serious trouble in Minatom's present is the fact of suppressing the powers of GAN and regaining the self-controlling function. Thus, the invulnerable Minatom has reemerged as a powerful bureaucracy able to maintain its relevance to the RF government. 58 These three elements were in turn catalysts for Minatom's international activity, where it has found a place under the sun of transnational foreign aid offered to Russia for the conversion of its nuclear complex and the resolution of the pressing environmental problems such as physical and social protection of population and remediation of the radioactively contaminated areas adjacent to Minatom's facilities. To maximize the gains, Minatom has embarked on a self-rescue mission and started to create its new collective self-image, a "new face" of the Ministry as a democratic and open-to-public organization, which its U.S. partners have treated as a representation of a Russian national identity. Thus, I have argued, the American side has unconsciously facilitated the process of an image creation, and legitimized Minatom's actions in the international and domestic arenas. It has triggered the painful reaction of Minatom's opponents in the Russian society, represented by the environmental NGOs and the political faction "Yabloko" in the RF State Duma. I have also argued that Minatom has been rather successful in its project of image creation that has developed trust of its foreign partners at some point. Eventually, the Ministry has been able to devise some new and extremely ambitious plans, e.g., the project of importing and reprocessing SNF from abroad, which are most likely to further endanger the domestic environmental situation in the RF, and probably pose a threat to international security environment as well. Appalled by the insatiable appetite of the Minatom's top officials and their inconsistent statements regarding the future of the US-Russia bilateral cooperation in the nuclear field, the U.S. side has drawn close attention to the low standards of nuclear security culture in Russia. At the same time, the American party has not stopped rendering financial assistance to Minatom. Why? A cultural approach provides a lucid explanation: the US-Russia nuclear cooperation is particularly 59 the case when a misconception of Russian national representation has taken place. Moreover, I have argued that the latter has been involved in a wider process of mutual identities construction, in which Minatom's top officials have equally conceived the US side, represented by some agencies and private companies, as traditional American national representation. From a cultural approach, this lack of radical change in the Russian nuclear industry as well as in Minatom's behavior is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is the lack of change in the minds of Minatom's American partners that makes me think that the case with cooperation of the U.S. Department of Energy with Minatom casts light not only on the Russian security discourse, but also on the American understanding of the problems of security in the Russian nuclear industry and beyond. Unfortunately, this does not leave much room for optimism: the security culture in Russia has not changed since the Soviet times because little has changed in the perception of threat, a central concept to understanding the issues of security, in the minds of Russian nuclear top management and Minatom's personnel. Moreover, the transnational actors have legitimized Minatom's approaches towards maintaining and implementing security culture, and, thus, alienated the Russian population from both actors in this game. It has also been concluded that the elitist security discourse is dominant in the U.S.-Russia cooperation on the reduction of nuclear threats that has had a negative impact on the understanding of the cultural factors influencing the domestic security environment. Moreover, this dominant discourse of security has been an impediment in the way of cultivating new security culture in Russia, which remains a highly controversial project. In this thesis, I have made an attempt at reconsidering some basic assumptions with regard to the problems of nuclear safety and security in Russia. I have demonstrated 60 that a paradigm of structural change has produced a negative effect on the nuclear and radioactive safety, and a zero effect on the security culture in the Russian nuclear industry managed by Minatom. Moreover, I find some bitter irony in the parallel that can be drawn here with the Gorbachev period of the Soviet history, in particular with Gorbachev's notorious formula f or change: "Perestroika - Glasnost' - Acceleration" ("IlepecTpoHKa - TjiacHOCTb - yctcopeHHe"). In the case with Minatom, I maintain, we are witnessing the same pattern: the restructuring of the 1990s have been, in fact, Minatom's perestroika, followed by an ideological project of repairing its old image and creating a new democratic face of the Ministry; and finally, we have a stage of acceleration, when Minatom is pressing its partners on the plans that may potentially endanger Russian international reputation as a security actor. Today, it is difficult to predict the future of the Russian nuclear industry. 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Izvestiva Region: Gorod Moskva/H3BecTHfl PeraoH: ropoa MocKBa 10 July 2002 <>. 69 APPENDIX I STRUCTURE OF THE MINISTRY FOR ATOMIC ENERGY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION4 Ministry Board MINISTER PR Secretary 1st Deputy Minister Transportation Directorate Scientific-Technical Council Chairman SC and SCT Support Directorate Safety and Emergency Nuclear Science and Department Technology Department Nuclear Fuel Cycle Department Nuclear Engineering and Instrumentation Directorate Joint Stock Company "Atomredmetzoloto" (Rare Metals and Gold) Joint Stock Company "TVEL" (Fuel Rods) Office Manager Socio-productive Directorate Situational Crisis Center Top Management Support Division Record Keeping and Protocol Department Exhibition and Marketing Center 1st Deputy Minister Nuclear Weapon Complex Nuclear Ammunition Development Nuclear Ammunition Industry Department Nuclear Industry Conversion Nuclear Energy Department Safety and Emergency Department Nuclear Fuel Cycle Department Russian Federation. Ministry for Atomic Energy. Structure of the Ministry. 70 STRUCTURE OF THE MINISTRY FOR ATOMIC E N E R G Y OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (Continued) 1st Deputy Minister Joint Stock Company "Techsnabexport" (Supply and Export) Scientific-Technical Council Chairman 1st Deputy Minister Nuclear Weapon Complex Social Policy and Labor Relations Department Department of International and External Economic Cooperation International Nuclear Safety Center of Russian Minatom Scientific Technical Council (STC) 1st Deputy STC Chairman Deputy Minister Nuclear Installations Construction Department Investment and Construction Activities State Enterprise "Rosatominvest" Foreign Trade Company "Zarubezhatomenergistroy" Closed Joint Stock Company "Atomstroyexport" Deputy Minister Nuclear Energy Department New Generation Units Creation State Enterprise Concern "Rosenergoatom" Foreign Trade Company "Atomenergoexport" State Unitary Enterprise "Leningrad NPP" Closed Joint Stock Company "Atomstroyexport" Foreign Trade Company "Zarubezhatomenergistroy" 71 STRUCTURE OF THE MINISTRY FOR ATOMIC E N E R G Y OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION Deputy Minister Environment and Decommissioning of Nuclear Installation Department International Center for Environmental Safety of Minatom of Russia (Continued) Secretary of State Deputy Minister Legal Support and Regulation of Property Forms Department Directorate of Labor Relations Optimization PR Secretary Deputy Minister Department of Economics and Projections Department of Finance, Analysis, and Account Directorate of Accounting and Records Deputy Minister Protection of Information, Nuclear Materials, and Facilities Department Interaction Closed Joint Stock Company "Conversbank" Nuclear Insurance Pool State Defense Complex "Oboronpromcomplex" 


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